10 WAYS TO SAVE MONEY

10 WAYS TO SAVE MONEY

Going on maternity leave & having to live off one wage is TERRIFYING! Evie was unexpected. We hadn’t saved for a baby. My partner was doing back-breaking hours to try & boost our funds. I made it my mission to cut back on our expenditure & we ended up saving £1000’s a year. Yay! This has even helped me to stay on maternity leave for much longer, so I had to share it with any other families that might also be struggling. Here is my 10 WAYS TO SAVE MONEY:

1. MEAL PLAN

SAVINGS: £80 A MONTH
This was the BEST way to save money on grocery shopping. It saves a lot of stress on deciding what to eat each night. We’ve saved over £20 a week by meal planning. This might not seem like a lot but £80 a month & £1000 a year makes that number sound pretty yummy.

Plan what you’d like for lunch & dinner for the week & write a shopping list that includes just those ingredients you need to meet your meal plan. Even better, shop online! This will stop you from picking up those snacky goods that cost more than you think. It’s a good idea to make sure you do include a couple of snacks or else you’ll end up going to the shop in the week & splurging.

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I made these print outs for my family. We laminated them so that we can use a wipeable board pen on them & reuse them every week.

2. MEATLESS MONDAY

SAVINGS: £40 A MONTH
Meat & fish are so expensive! If you haven’t heard of ‘Meatless Mondays’ before, you need to try it. My family loves meat & it took us a couple of weeks to adjust to having just one meal without meat, but now we love the challenge of discovering & making new dishes. You could even make it into a fun date night challenge! This small change has saved us such a big amount on our food shop bill. Join in on twitter or Pinterest with #meatlessmondays to share your meal ideas & to find more in return.

3. BUDGET FOR FOOD

SAVINGS: £80 A MONTH
I spend no more than £30 a week on food for two adults & a toddler. Before I made meal plans this would be £50 or above. We also made the switch to Lidl’s & were AMAZED at how much better value for money the food is & yet it still has amazing quality. Especially the fruit, vegetables & meat. Set yourself a limit each week & challenge yourself to make it. You’ll find yourself cutting back on those things you really don’t need.

4. BUDGET FOR PETROL

SAVINGS: £100 A MONTH
We put in petrol once a week & make it a mission to last us the week. It really has affected how efficiently we both drive. We’re more mindful of the journey’s we take & don’t use the car for journey’s we could easily walk. Jamie has even started car pooling to work when he can.

5.GO MONTHLY ON YOUR HOME PROVIDERS

SAVINGS: £500+ A YEAR
Don’t let companies GUESSTIMATE! We saved the £100’s, by changing from quarterly bills to monthly direct debits. Monthly payments are cheaper anyway & submitting monthly meter readings means NO SURPRISE BILLS! Sounds like hassle? There are apps that make sending meter readings as quick & easy as sending a text.

I made my family a ‘Home Information’ page (I’ve included an example below) so that we know how much we’re paying for each bill. We set up online accounts for everything so we can easily access it & manage it if we need to & can contact them without searching through paperwork.
HOME INFORMATION

6. GET A PAY AS YOU GO SIM

SAVINGS: £40 A MONTH
Do you really need to upgrade your phone at the end of your contract? There are some great sim only deals from as little as £3.99 a month! Between my partner & I we spend £85 a month on our iPhones. My contract finishes in June & I’ll save us nearly £40 a month by switching. They’re usually contract free, so if you do really want that new handset, you have no ties. Look HERE for some great Sim only deals.

7. PAY YOURSELF

SAVINGS: £AS MUCH AS YOU CAN AFFORD A MONTH
This is the fun most rewarding way to save money! A financial advisor once said to me:

‘Do you pay yourself?’

We’ve all had times when we’ve had a big unexpected bill come out & had nothing left for ourselves. Setting up a savings or separate account & paying yourself a bit every month guarantees that you have some funds for a rainy day, money to treat yourself with, or at least some savings behind you. It’s just as important to pay yourself as it is to pay your water bill.

8. FIND FREE THINGS TO DO

SAVINGS: WHAT YOU’D SPEND INSTEAD ON PAID DAYS
You can easily turn a simple walk in the woods into a fun day out. Why not write an ‘I SPY’ list for your little ones & get them to find all of the items as you’re walking around or even a treasure hunt game where they need to find & collect certain coloured leaves or stones.

Geocaching is a great free thing to do. If you haven’t heard of it, you’d be surprised by how many hidden treasures are all around you. Click HERE to find out more about it.

9. BULK BUY

SAVINGS: £50 A MONTH
There are some great deals on boxes & multi-packs of items you regularly use. From nappies & wipes, to washing powder. It is so much cheaper than buying small packs weekly. If storage is an issue, then Pinterest & Ikea have some amazing creative storage solutions. We’ve saved nearly £50 a month on baby essentials by bulk buying.

10. GET CHEAPER RATES

SAVINGS: £1500 A YEAR+
I’ve saved over £1500 a year by changing my home providers. Comparison websites are your new best friend. You’re probably paying way more than you need to for your gas/electric/internet/home insurance. It only took me a couple of hours to shop around & save this much. I know that’s a long time with little ones running around, but it was really worth setting that time aside. Click HERE to get started.

What did you think of this list? Have you got some great ways to save money for your family? 

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41 Comments

  1. Ellie Robinson PATR
    April 16, 2015 / 6:27 pm

    These are some amazingggggg tips! Definitely want to try meatless mondays xx

    • Chloe
      April 16, 2015 / 7:30 pm

      Thank yo so much Ellie! Meatless Mondays is so much fun. Pinterest has some really yummy ideas! 🙂 x

  2. The Unnatural Woman
    April 23, 2015 / 3:05 pm

    Wow, that budget for food is pretty amazing! This is a whole new game I have to get my head around when baby arrives. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Chloe
      April 23, 2015 / 7:40 pm

      Thank you so much! It took a lot of compromising at first to get our food down that low. Our food budget doesn't include any toiletries though. We get all of those bits in boots so that we can get points. Points means freebies! 😀 But somewhere like lidls is great for keeping low food costs. We generally only get fruit & vegetables, chicken & fish. Chicken is only £5 for 6 pieces in lidls which is crazy! But we have lots of farmers markets around too, you can get some great deals from them. We also buy pastas & rice in bulk so it's last for months. x

  3. Wendy
    May 8, 2015 / 8:02 am

    Thank you so much for writing this..amazing tips.my family is extremely strapped for cash at the minute …We've already switched to Aldi but going to try the rest of these things too.xx

    • Chloe
      May 8, 2015 / 6:25 pm

      That's ok! I'm so glad they're helpful. The changing companies does take a bit of time but I've actually managed to stop working for a few months now to be a stay at home mum because we've saved SOOOOO much. But we were paying astronomical rates for gas/electric. It's nice to challenge yourself with food shops/petrol as well. We try & compete on last week & save more. 🙂 Good luck! xx

  4. Kirsty PrettyBugblog
    May 8, 2015 / 8:42 am

    Great tips, I just posted something similar on my blog! I'm definitely going to give meatless Mondays a try 🙂
    Kirsty x

    PrettyBugBlog.

    • Chloe
      May 8, 2015 / 6:26 pm

      Thank you!! I'll go & have a read in a minute. Meatless Mondays was so hard for us at first, but it's actually quite fun now. 🙂 xx

  5. Madeline
    May 8, 2015 / 9:40 am

    What a fab and detailed list! We already do a few things on your list, like meal planning and a went to a sim only deal on my phone when my contract ran out which saved me a big chunk every month! There are definitely more things I can do though – might have to look into bulk buying seeing the savings you made doing it! x

    • Chloe
      May 8, 2015 / 6:28 pm

      Thank you so much! The amount we save on nappies & washing powder is unreal! Our washing powder lasts months & months & months. We couldn't do that in our old house though because we didn't have the storage space. But now we do we are addicted to bulk buying. 🙂 xx

  6. Mummy in Training
    May 8, 2015 / 6:12 pm

    Fab tips. Going to use some of these #thelist xx

    • Chloe
      May 8, 2015 / 6:28 pm

      Thank you so much! 🙂 xx

  7. Jenny
    May 10, 2015 / 3:23 pm

    Great tips! Thank you! I love using comparison websites, the cashback sites are great to use in conjunction with them as well. I like veggie meals, but it takes my husband some convincing to have veggie things, but we have at least 2 veggie meals a week. 🙂 xx

    • Chloe
      May 11, 2015 / 7:24 am

      Thank you! Oh I haven't even thought about using a cashback website. That's a great idea! Jamie needs convincing too. He thinks every meal should have meat, but he hasn't complained that much yet which is good. That's so good that you do it twice! 😀 x

  8. Doctomum
    May 12, 2015 / 8:58 am

    Fab tips. Especially the laminated food planner. Now dreaming of a laminator though …money save £20….money spent £40…uh oh #twinklytuesday

    • Chloe
      May 12, 2015 / 12:10 pm

      Thank you so much! Haha, I cheekily borrowed mine from work. xx

  9. May 12, 2015 / 9:07 am

    Great suggestions, especially the petrol one, I'm not mindful really of where I drive but I will try! #twinklytuesday

    • Chloe
      May 12, 2015 / 12:11 pm

      We find setting it up as a competition helps! I'm always determined to drive less miles/more efficiently than my other half haha. We're getting a bit too competitive now though. We reset the 'trip' every time we top up & try & beat the last time. x

  10. Bethan Sian
    May 12, 2015 / 5:17 pm

    These are great tips. I need to think if I should go for another phone contract next October or just a pay as you go sim.

    • Chloe
      May 13, 2015 / 7:44 am

      At least if you go for a pay as you go, you can upgrade back to a contract whenever you like! 😀 x

  11. themummystylist.com
    May 13, 2015 / 12:35 pm

    These are really useful tips, thank you. I am worried about when we go to one income in the future, but people manage, it's all about budgeting and cutting down on unneccessaries. #twinklytuesday
    xx

    • Chloe
      May 14, 2015 / 12:12 pm

      It is surprising just how much you can save. We were actually struggling on maternity pay & my partners wage. Now we don't even have the maternity pay any more & we're still managing. It does take a lot of effort to do all of the above but it was so worth it for us. x

  12. Hannah
    May 14, 2015 / 1:43 pm

    Wow, so many great ideas to save money. I don't do half (who am I try to kid…most!!) of these, food for thought there! Great post xx Thanks for linking up to #TheList xx

    • Chloe
      May 14, 2015 / 9:10 pm

      Honestly, I was so glad I spent the time to do this. We have so much more money to spend on ourselves doing fun things rather than giving all of our money to things like bill companies! 😀 Well worth it! x

  13. May 14, 2015 / 3:17 pm

    Flipping heck you're good! Those printouts are amazing! Thanks for sharing these tips; they are brilliant. We usually have a few meatless days a week (even though we are big meat eaters!) and it really makes a difference, and we also shop at Lidl xx #TwinklyTuesday

    • Chloe
      May 14, 2015 / 9:13 pm

      Thank you so so much Louise! 😀 Hearing such lovely feedback is amazing. Isn't Lidls so good! Especially for big meat eaters because it's so cheap! X

  14. Sally
    May 14, 2015 / 8:01 pm

    Some great tips here. We switched from a carefree shopping list to meal planning and have saved loads of money. We also don't waste any food any more.

    • Chloe
      May 14, 2015 / 9:14 pm

      We're the same, the food that we used to waste was ridiculous. Nothing goes out of date or gets mouldy anymore. x

  15. Melissa French - The More With Less Mom
    May 14, 2015 / 11:19 pm

    Meal planning saves us a TON of money. Thanks for posting. Hello from Frugal Family Linky.

    • Chloe
      May 16, 2015 / 6:08 am

      It really does. I didn't know how cheap it was before! It's brilliant! x

  16. Sadia
    May 15, 2015 / 1:55 am

    I need these tips! I have really tightened up our food spending, and fortunately I live in an area with endless free things for children to do. I could certainly afford to look into cutting my bills, though, especially after all the debt I've racked up on a nasty custody fight.

    Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday.

    • Chloe
      May 16, 2015 / 6:09 am

      Oh no! It takes a few annoying hours of ringing around but it is totally worth it fort he savings. xx

  17. Helen @ Witty Hoots
    May 28, 2015 / 3:51 pm

    Great tips! Your post has been featured on this week’s Frugal Family Linky via Witty Hoots! Hope to see you joining in again soon and remember to pop by and grab your ‘I’ve been Featured’ badge too!

    • May 29, 2015 / 8:12 am

      Thank you so much Helen! 😀 I am so happy to be featured. xx

  18. June 29, 2015 / 3:44 pm

    Haha, I love this list! I’ve also played ‘fetch’ with my 14 month old *hangs head in shame* she loves it though! 😉

    She’s addicted to our Sing and Sign DVD and it’s the only thing that holds her attention for more than 5 minutes. It gets used a lot. Best £10 I’ve ever spent. #mummymondays xx

    • June 30, 2015 / 7:35 am

      Haha they all seem to love fetch. That does sound like the best £10. I’ve been meaning to take Evie to a sing and sign group, I didn’t realise there were dvds, what a great idea! x

  19. Alison at Home
    July 13, 2015 / 9:16 pm

    Some great tips here. You sound super organised! Good work 🙂

    Alison At Home!

    • July 14, 2015 / 6:01 pm

      Thank you. I am so organised its ridiculous haha. It’s my favourite thing to do. x

  20. July 14, 2015 / 8:02 am

    1, 4 & 10! Will definitely do no 1. #TwinklyTuesday

    • July 16, 2015 / 8:46 am

      😀 It’s so helpful. It’s amazing how much you save. x

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